December 15, 2013

Sophia Camp Case - Great-Great Grandmother

After her husband, Caleb, died in 1854, Sophia Case was left to raise her large family alone.

On July 13, 1860, the census enumerator found the Case family at the same location in Concord Township, Dekalb County, Indiana.  Isum, 26, was named as head of household.  The value of the land had increased to $4000, probably because more land had been improved and used for farming.  Isum's personal worth was $1000; he was teaching, too.

Sophia, at 52, was keeping house and raising the younger children, Mary, 12, and Martha, 9.  Maynard had left the house and was listed in the 1860 census in California.  At home were Emillus, 22; Mahlon, 19; Lydia, 19 (error in age); Harriet, 17 and the two younger girls.  Also joining the family were Dexter Case, 24, and his wife, Mary Jane, 24.  
No will was found for Caleb Case in the courthouse at Auburn, Dekalb County, Indiana.  In the early 1860's, at least, documents show that the property taxes were paid by "the heirs of Caleb Case" and then later on in the names of several different sons until each left the area or died. 

In January, 1861, Sophia's children, Isum and Harriet, died, quickly followed by Mahlon in March of that year.  Dexter and wife, Mary Jane, moved to Kansas, so the heirs at home would have been Emillus and Lydia and the two youngest girls, Mary and Martha.  Sophia was not done grieving because in 1867, she learned of her son, Maynard's, death in California.

This photo was found in the satchel of Emillus Case and it is unidentified.  I always wondered if it were his mother, Sophia, as she looked like someone who had weathered many storms.  But we will never know the identity of this woman, for sure.
 So on July 25, 1870, the Case family was much smaller when the census enumerator stopped by.  Emillus was named as head of the household with real estate worth $8000 and personal wealth of $2500.  He was listed as a farmer.  His mother, Sophia, 62; sister, Lydia, 39; and sisters Martha, 21, and Mary and her husband, William Hollabaugh, completed the household.  

In 1880, Emillus, 42, a farmer and head of the household, had only Lydia, 50 and Sophia, 72, at home.  (This one time the census taker listed her birthplace as CT, but, of course, we don't know who reported that.  The birthplace had always been New York prior to this.)  Mary and her husband, William Hollabaugh, had moved just down the road, and Martha and her husband, William H. Dilley had settled in Iowa.

Sophia died on February 15, 1888.  She had written a will dated January 14, 1882, which was located in Auburn, Dekalb County, Indiana courthouse.

Sophia Camp Case's will:
"I, Sophia Case, of Concord Township, County of DeKalb and State of Indiana, being of sound mind, but in feeble health and in view of the certainty of death and the uncertainty of life, do make and publish this, my last will and testament:

Item 1st: I will, bequeath to son Emillus Case the undivided four-fifths of all the real estate I may be possessed of at my decease and on the condition that the said Emillus Case is to pay my daughter, Martha Dilley, the sum of Two Hundred and Fifty Dollars.

Item 2: I will and bequeath to my daughter, Lydia Case, the undivided one-fifth part of the real estate I may be possessed of at my decease unconditionally.

Item 3: I will and bequeath to Mary Hollabaugh, my daughter, the sum of Three Hundred Dollars out of my personal estate.

Item 4: I will and bequeath to my daughter, Martha Dilley, in addition to the above legacy, the sum of Three Hundred Dollars out of my personal estate.

Item 5: I will that all of my personal estate not hereinbefore bequeath shall be equally divided between my daughter, Lydia Case and my son, Emillus Case, after the payment of all my just debts and charges.

Item 6: I hereby nominate and appoint my son Emillus Case, my Executor to carry out the provisions of this my last will and testament according to the true intent and meaning thereof.
In witness whereof, the said Sophia Case has hereunto set her hand and seal this 14th day of January, 1882."

I have but one item that has been passed down from Sophia Camp Case, probably through her granddaughter, Geneva Hollabaugh Pflaumer (daughter of Mary Case Hollabaugh), as Geneva's (aka Eva's) husband was the executor of Sophia's son, Emillus's, will.
Coin silver spoons owned by Sophia Camp Case
According to my research, coin silver spoons were made from colonial times to about 1868 when a silver standard was set for silversmiths.  The spoons were made from melted silver coins that no longer had worth in society or from worthless European coins.  Sterling silver was introduced in 1850.  In the 19th century, makers began to stamp their names on what they produced. Two different makers made these particular coins - I. Avery and L. S. Porter - and I could not find information on either person.  The spoons were obviously well used and ten of them exist. (In Mary Case Hollabaugh's obituary, it said there were ten in her family, but I have never been able to find the tenth person.)  The spoons were all engraved with what looks like a C in very elegant script.

Years of black grime covered the handles of the spoons, but baking soda helped clean away most of it.  In the above photo, you can almost see the teeth marks in the bowl of the spoons!

Sophia is buried beside Caleb in the White City Cemetery, Spencerville, Indiana, just down the road from their homestead. This brief obituary appeared in an unidentified New York paper from Oneida County:

"Died.  CASE - In Spencerville, In., Feb. 15, 1898, Mrs. Sophia Camp Case, a sister of the late Platt Camp, of this place, in the 81st year of her age."

December 8, 2013

Caleb Case, Great-Great Grandfather

Caleb Case, my husband's great-great grandfather was born about May 20, 1803 and, as he reported in the census, the birthplace was New York.  The birthdate was calculated from his tombstone found in White City Cemetery, Spencerville, IN.  Caleb died January 23, 1854 at the age of 50 years, 8 months and 3 days.  (The number 5 might, at first, look like a 6 on the stone.)

Caleb and Sophia Camp were probably married prior to 1831 in New York, but the early date has made finding a record of that marriage challenging.

I believe this Caleb Case appeared in the 1840 census of Hastings,Oswego County, New York, page 304.  He appeared as head of household and in the family were listed three males under 5 years old (Dexter, Emillus and Mahlon), two males ages 5-9 (Maynard and Isum) and one male aged 30-40 (Caleb).
In addition, one female is listed aged 5-9 (Lydia) and one female aged 30-40 (Sophia), so the ages of this particular Caleb Case entry seem to match the ages of the parents and children.  In addition, one female aged 20-30 was listed, but since she is unnamed , it is uncertain if she was a servant or relative living with the family. However, since I believe he and Sophia were from Oneida County, this may not be a correct census match.

New York Counties.svg

According to testimony taken when son, Maynard's, estate was being settled, William Dils swore that he had known Maynard since the family came to Dekalb County, Indiana around 1845.  So the family was in Indiana when the enumerator for the 1850 census dropped in at their Concord Township home on August 10, 1850.  Caleb was then 47 years old and a farmer with real estate valued at $1200, a goodly sum for the times.  Sophia was 42 and the children named were Lydia, 19; Maynard, 18, a farmer; Isum, 16, a farmer; Dexter, 14; Emillus, 12; Mahlon, 10; Harriet,7, all attending school; and little Mary (great-grandmother), age 1 and the only one born in Indiana.  All the rest were born in New York.

That same year, an agricultural census was taken in Indian, with reporting based on what the farmer had with the year ending June 1, 1850.  Caleb Case reported that he had 30 acres improved and 140 acres unimproved with the cash value of the farm at $1200 ($7.06/acre).  He valued his farming implements at $55.  He owned four horses, 4 milch cows, 2 working oxen, 4 other cattle, 8 sheep, 17 swine, with a combined value of $185.00.  Caleb also had 160 bushels of wheat, 200 bushels of Indian corn, 27 pounds of wool, 1 bushel of peas/beans, 25 bushels of Irish potatoes, 150 pounds of butter, 200 pounds of maple syrup, 15 gallons of molasses, 50 pounds of beeswax/ honey and he had slaughtered for food $70 worth of animals.  With his sons helping him, Caleb and Sophia's farm seemed to be quite productive and profitable.

Unfortunately, Caleb died at the young age of 50 years, leaving Sophia with an active farming operation and nine children at home.  Several sons were old enough to take over the farm and continue working it.  Mahlon, Harriet, Mary and the youngest, Martha, age 3, were the still in school or still at home.  Probably Mary and Martha would not remember their father.

November 13, 2013

Martha Rosetta Dilley - Daughter of Caleb and Sophia Camp Case

The youngest of this Case family was daughter, Martha Rosetta, born in August, c. 1851.  Martha's father died when she was about three years old, so she was raised by her mother, surrounded by older brothers and sisters.  When Martha was approximately 9 or 10, three of her older siblings, Isum, Mahlon and Harriet, died, and not much later, two others, Maynard and Dexter, moved west.  In the 1860 census, Martha was enumerated with her whole family, minus her father, but by 1870, the family had shrunk to her brother, Emillus (32) and her mother, Sophia (62) and sisters, Lydia (39), Mary (21) and her husband, Levi Hollabaugh (25) and Martha, herself, listed as 21 years old.

I have not been able to locate the marriage certificate of William H. Dilley, also of Dekalb County, Indiana, and Martha Rosetta Case. William grew up in Concord township, as well, and in 1860, was with his family: Elijah and Elizabeth, father and mother, and siblings, Mary E., Vinson, Margaret, and Malinda.  William H. was the youngest at 2 years old. They probably married in Indiana, but the search is still on for the documentation.

 In the 1880 census, they were found in Bear Grove Township, Guthrie County, Iowa on July 3, both 22 years old.  William was engaged in farming.  (In the 1900 census, they reported being married for 20 years, making the nuptial year as 1880, so they were probably newlyweds in the 1880 census.  However, the birth age for Martha, at this point is still a mystery because even though ten years have passed since the 1870 census, Martha has only aged 1 year!  Obviously, a mistake somewhere.)

Fifteen years later, the family still resided in Guthrie County - William H. Dilley, 36, Martha R., 41, with children, Blanche, 7, and Melville, 5.  William reported himself a farmer, a Methodist, subject to military duty and entitled to vote.

The 1900 census of Guthrie County, Iowa indicated the enumerator arrived at the Dilleys on June 20.  Married now twenty years, William was farming.  They reported his birthday to be in June, 1858 and Martha's as August, 1853.  Martha had borne five children, but only two were living: Blanche H., 12, born June 1887 in Iowa, and Melville L., 10, born December 1889 in Iowa. 

By 1910, the family had moved to Clifton, Mesa County, Colorado.  There, they owned a fruit farm, free and clear, probably with the proceeds of the sale of their Iowa farm.  William was 52 and Martha was 57 and both children were still single and at home, working on the family farm.  Blanche, 22, was listed as a farmer on the census, and her brother, Melville, 20, was a farm laborer. (They probably made the move to Colorado in about 1901.)

 Melville married Mabel McMillen on November 28, 1912 and from a later census, it appeared that they settled on a farm nearby. 

The family seemed to have gained success, but in 1913, William Dilley committed suicide, leaving Martha a widow. The death was reported in a local paper, the Akron Weekly Review, Akron, Washington County, Colorado, Friday, May 16, 1913, front page:

"Clifton.  W. H. Dilley, fifty four, orchardist, who for twelve years has lived southwest of town, shot and instantly killed himself.  Despondency over ill health is given as the cause, together with a partial loss of fruit crops by frost."

Martha's  daughter, Blanche Hazel Dilley, married Ivor Hyndman at Clifton, Mesa County, Colorado, the next year, on September 17, 1914. Blanche was 27 and Ivor, an immigrant from Wales and a Methodist clergyman, was 32.

 In 1920,, Ivor was assigned to a church in Milwaukee, Wisconsin where the census taker found the family in Ward 1 of South Milwaukee.  Ivor, 38, had filed naturalization papers in 1913.  His wife, Blanche, 32, and son, Ivor W. Hyndman, 2 9/12, completed the family.
Also, in 1920, the census enumerator found Martha Dilley, 68, living alone in the same location in Colorado, owning her farm.  No occupation was listed for her; however, her son, Melville and his wife, Mabel B. and daughter, Marjorie, 4 9/12 lived very near her, as they were enumerated on the same page, about five farms away.  Melville was farming, and probably taking care of his mother's land, too, we might presume.

By 1930, Martha R. Dilley, 78, lived with her son, Melville, 40, and his wife, Mabel, 42.  They lived on a farm, but it is unclear if it was the home farm or Melville's farm.  Melville was still farming, and Martha would have also had her granddaughter, Marjorie, 15, for company.
Her daughter, Blanche and son-in-law, Ivor Hyndman were living on South Limestone Street in Fayette, Kentucky in 1930.  They were renting a home there for $75 a month and Ivor was sill working as a Methodist clergyman at 48 years old.  Blanche, 42, had children Ivor W., 12, born in Wisconsin; Hazel G., 9, and James M. 7, both born in North Dakota; Florence M., 5, born in Florida; and Lloyd G, 1 3/12, born in Kentucky.  What a roaming life this minister and family had! (According to Blanche's great-great granddaughter, Blanche and Ivor also had twin girls who died at birth and a daughter, Dorothy, who died in infancy.)

Martha Rosetta Case Dilley died in 1933 and was buried next to her husband, William, in Palisade Cemetery, Palisade, Mesa County,Colorado.
Birthdate on tombstone - 1851

November 11, 2013

Dexter R. and Mary Jane Case - Their Wills

 Dexter Case died on January 9, 1912, but his will was made four years before.

"Byron, Oklahoma, Jan. 8th, 1908
I, Dexter R. Case, of town of Byron, in Alfalfa Co. in State of Oklahoma, being of sound mind,memory and understanding, do make this my last will and testament.
I bequeath all of my household goods, ready money, securities, goods & chattles, and all other parts of my real & personal estate & effects, whatsoever and wheresoever, subject only to the payment of my just debts, to my wife, Mary J. Case, to and for her absolute use and benefits, and I appoint Isum B. Case executor of this, my will, and hereby revoke all other wills.
In witness whereof, I hereunto set my hand and seal, the day and year first above mentioned.
Signed, Sealed, published and acknowledged by the said Dexter R. Case, as and for his last will and testament, in the presence of us, who in his presence and at his request, and in the presence of eath other, have subscribed our names hereunto as witnesses thereof.
Alfonso W. Hadley
Viola M. Hadley
(signed by Dexter R.Case)

After Dexter died, his wife waited a few years before writing her own will on Christmas Day, 1913.  Mary Jane died on June 21, 1917.

"Last Will and Testament of Mary Jane Case
I, Mary Jane Case, being of sound mind and memory, do make and publish this, my last Will and Testament, hereby revoking any other will heretofore made by me.

1. I give and bequeath to my son, Isum B. Case, and my son, Frank Case, all of my household goods, share and share alike.

2. All the rest and residue of my property, both real and personal, I give, devise, and bequeath to my son, Isum B. Case.  In the event that my said son, Isum B. Case, should not survive me, it is my will and desire that the property hereby devised and bequeathed to my son, Isum B. Case, should go to his heirs at law.

3. I hereby appoint my son, Isum B. Case, executor of this, my last will and testament and request that he be allowed to serve without bond.
In witness thereof, I, Mary Jane Case, have to this my last will and testament, subscribed my name this 25th day of December, 1913."
(Signed- Mary Jane Case and witnessed by H. C. Wear and I. S. Alexander)

October 20, 2013

Dexter Rival Case - Son of Caleb and Sophia Camp Case

The Children of Caleb and Sophia Camp Case

Dexter Rival - 1835 - 1912
Martha - c. 1853 - 1933

Dexter Rival, the fourth son of Caleb and Sophia, was another child  who made his way to the west.  Born in Oswego County, New York, on August 22, 1835, he was a young boy when his parents packed up and moved to Indiana.  He was enumerated in the census in Dekalb County, Indiana, with his parents in both 1850 and 1860.  Original documents exist showing Dexter paid real estate and land taxes there in 1859 and 1862.

 The 1860 census did not ask if a person was married or not, but we know that Dexter and his wife were married and living with his mother and siblings in Dekalb County, Indiana.

On December 6, 1859, Dexter had married Mary Jane Ayers in Spring Hill, Johnson County, Kansas. (Lawrence Republican, December 15, 1859) Mary, born October 24, 1836, in Trumbull County, Ohio, was about the same age as Dexter.  So, was Dexter looking for land when he was in Kansas?   Their first son, Burton/Berton, was born in Indiana about 1860.

In the 1870 census of Madison Township, Williams County, Ohio, taken July 21, 1870, Dexter Case, a farmer, held real estate worth $2600 and personal goods worth $500.  Mary, his wife, was keeping house, and they had four children:
Burton, 10, born in Indiana; Frank, 8, born in Ohio; Bennie (later I.B. for Isum Benjamin), 4; and Hattie (Harriet Irene), 1, both also born in Ohio. So, it would seem that the move to Ohio occurred between late 1860 and 1862.

By 1880, the family was settled in Branch, Marion County, Kansas, which covered a large territory in those days. Dexter was 44 in that year and farming, and Mary 43, was keeping house and caring for Berten, 19; Frank L. (Frank Lee), 18; Isum, 14; and Hattie, 11.  They had a servant living with them, Lidern Green, 17.  In looking at land patents at the Bureau of Land Management website, I found Dexter Case had made two claims for 80 acres each on May 20, 1862.  The Homestead Act of 1862 opened up some public lands in the west for settlement at a cheap price, $15.00 for 160 acres, the maximum claim. One had to be a citizen of 21 years old or more and agree to reside on the land for five years and improve it.  Dexter's claim was for land in Marion, Kansas in Section 34.  The actual final patent was issued to him in two parts - 80 acres on September 2, 1882 and the other 80 acres on August 5, 1890.

The 1885 Kansas state census had the family in Fairplay Township, Marion County, KS. The township of Fairplay was formed in 1880, so they could have been in the same place, but the townships were being restructured, so it is hard to tell without land records to reference.
Ten years had to pass before I could locate the family again in the 1895 Kansas census, and by this time, all the children were on their own.  Dexter, 59, and Mary, 58 were enumerated at that time on a farm in Peabody Township, Pherson County, Kansas. 

Atlas of Marion County, Kansas - 7
  (1885 plat map showing townships then in Marion County, KS, southern half)

In the Hutchinson News, Kansas on Tuesday, March 26, 1895, this article appeared regarding Harriet Case, who was a teacher.
"Huntsville...Miss Hattie Case closed her school last Friday with a programme and supper.  The little folks rendered their recitations very nicely and their deportment indicated good learning, thus showing Miss Case a thorough teacher.  Several fine prizes were given and all received a treat of candy which always gladdens the youthful heart.  Miss Case will attend conference with her brother, Rev. I. B. Case, and then return to the home of her parents who reside in Peabody, Kansas."

In the same 1895 paper appeared this article about Dexter's youngest son, I. B., who among other occupations, was a minister with the Methodist Episcopal Church.
"Rev. I. B. Case preached his farewell sermon and admitted six candidates for church membership, thus closing his conference year with us.  Brother Case has the prayers and good wishes of his class here."

In the Federal Census of 1900, Dexter, 64, and Mary, 62, along with their daughter, Hattie I., 31, were enumerated in Stella Township, Range 9, Woods County, Territory of Oklahoma where they owned a farm.  On this census, they reported their birthdates: Dexter - August 1835, Mary J. - October 1837, and Hattie - March 1869.  Mary also reported that she had borne 4 children and all were living at this time.  
When the Oklahoma territory opened, the Native Americans were given a chance to claim land first, and then in 1889, others were able to also get land.  In 1901, a land lottery took place where 8000 names were drawn for land. This map of Oklahoma in 1900 shows Woods County (Wds) as on the northern border, but the 1889 map does not show these counties at all, so they were developed for the incoming white population.  

So, why did Dexter and Mary move to Oklahoma?  The area where they settled was prime ground for wheat and pastures, and it wasn't long until the railroads came through to help transport goods.

  Daughter Hattie, born October 20, 1868, died at the age of 39, on November 17, 1907.  She was buried back in Wichita, Sedgwick County, Kansas in the Maple Grove Cemetery.

 In the 1910 census, Dexter, 74, and Mary, 73, were found in Parsons, Alfalfa, Oklahoma.  (Oklahoma became a state in 1907, and Wood county was divided into three counties, one being Alfalfa. ) They had been married 50 years and were renting a house, perhaps near their son, Frank Lee, who was also there.

On January 9, 1912, Dexter died and he, too, was buried in Wichita, near Hattie, at the Maple Grove Cemetery.

Mary lived on until June 21, 1917 when she was buried near her husband of more than 50 years.

As for the children of Dexter and Mary Jane...

1. Burton/Berton P., the oldest, moved to Denver,Colorado, sometime between 1900 and 1910.  In the censuses, his occupation was listed as contractor for digging wells/ artesian wells. He was widowed at an early age.  He married Della Dunlap and they had one son, Donald Burton Case.
I have not been able to find his place of burial.

2. Frank Lee lived for a time in Missouri and then moved to Oklahoma.  He married Jennie G. Walter and they had three children, Ethel Ianthe, Bert Dexter, and Harold G.  

Byron-Amorita Cemetery
Alfalfa County
Oklahoma, USA
Plot: Block 3, Row 10, Lot 154

This obituary for Frank's son, Bert Dexter Case, which gives pertinent information about Frank Case, as well, appeared in the Alfalfa County Advocate on the front page, December 15, 1938:

"Pioneer Byron Mail Carrier Dies
Bert Dexter Case, 50, veteran mail carrier of Byron, died Wednesday night in the hospital at Anthony, Kans. where he was taken Sunday.  Death was atrributed to pleurisy.
Bert Dexter Case, son of Mr. Frank Lee and Jennie G. Case, was born Aug. 17, 1888, at Kansas City, Mo.  He came to Oklahoma with his parents in the spring of 1898.  He was converted in his youth and united with the M. E. church at Byron soon after coming to Oklahoma.
He departed this life at the age of 50 years, 3 months and 20 days.  He was united in marriage on May 16, 1911, to Fanny Wilson and to this union nine children were born, eight boys and one girl, all of whom survive.
Mr. Case had carried mail out of Byron for 25 years and five months.  His father was mail carrier there before him.
Survivors include his wife, Mrs. Fannie Case; a daughter, Delores; and eight sons, Don, Paul, Frank, Gene, Claude, Clyde, Harold, and Floyd of Byron and one brother, Harold G. Case, who lives at Elbert, Colorado..."

This remembrance, which really gives insight into the man, was also given in the same paper"
"Another of our good friends and neighbors have answered the summons, called Death.  When they told me last night that our good friend, Bert Case, had passed away, I sit down and thought back over the past twenty years.

I could see in my reverie the old post office across the street to the north of us when Bert used to relay out of here as mail carrier and I could see his little team of ponies tied over there and then when the cars came, he was among the first of the mail carriers to get one and all through the years we watched him as he went day after day.  It didn't matter to him how bad the roads got, he always made a try and he usually won out, too.
We have more friendly arguments than anyone, more friendly fights than most people, but always ended up laughing and telling each other to wait till the next time, but last week, Bert came in and it was a different Bert.

There was no smile and instead of standing up to argue with us, he sit down and there was no arguement, but instead he started to pour out his soul to us of the feeling he had and how bad he felt.  We tried to kid him out of it.  But he just wouldn't and couldn't kid back.  And then we noted he told us that he was just having to go home and go to bed.  It was then we were made to realize that he was really sick because it was so unlike him to complain.  

I am sure we will miss that familiar figure coming in to chat with us every week.  And I am sure others will miss him, too.  His Church, to whom he was so faithful and true, and his family to whom he was a real daddy.  And so we go on struggling as though in the dark, not knowing when our day may come, but let us home, that when it does, we will be as near ready for it as was our friend, Bert Case."

3. Isum Benjamin (I. B. Case)  Many references appear in the local papers of the time regarding the preaching of Rev. I. B. Case and the crowds he drew.
We also know, from Methodist documents, that he and his wife went to Angola, Africa as missionaries in 1893.  He also became involved later in real estate and insurance, and it appears he was a landowner from this note in The Hutchinson News of September 14, 1895:

"Rev. I. B. Case occupied the pulpit of the Huntsville church last Sunday after an absence of a couple of Sundays.  He took a vacation for his health, also to take his wife to their claim in the strip."

and in the same paper, March 28, 1896:
 "Rev. I. B. Case, owing to poor health, has been released from preaching for a year, hence will try farming on his claim in the Strip.  Brother Case and wife had been with us for two years and has left many warm friends who wish them health, prosperity and happiness.

4. Hattie died in 1907 and did not marry.

When Emillus Case died, letters were sent to all the sons of his deceased brother, Dexter, from Emillus's executor, George Edward Pflaumer, husband to his niece. The letter concerned whether the sons, who had inherited from their Uncle Emillus, would agree to set aside some money for care of the gravesite and to purchase a tombstone.  The three Case brothers answered their letters.

First, the letter from I. B.

Then the letter from Frank Lee, who wrote briefly at the end of the letter sent to him.

Then the letter from Burton.
(Sadly, I have no photos of these pioneers, and would surely appreciate any that would be offered!)

October 10, 2013

George Hollabaugh's Will - 1877

(I'm taking a little break from the Case family as I wait for some documents to arrive and perhaps a photo. Later, I will continue with the story of siblings, Dexter Rival Case and Martha Case Dilley.)

Great-Great Grandfather, George Hollabaugh, lived in Adams County, Pennsylvania.  Married to Elizabeth Bittinger, their story may be read here and part two is here. 
Recently, on, I browsed through unindexed probate court records of Adams County and found George Hollabaugh's will, filed in the year 1877.  (For those who want to see the real deal, follow this path:Search, United States -at bottom of page, Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania Probate Records, Estates 1877-1879, Adams, Image 109 -  131.) 
But for those who don't, I present it here, with some added punctuation for clarity, but spelling as it appeared. It does bring up a few questions.

Filed August 22, 1877 

In the name of God Amen, I, George Hollabaugh of the Township of Butler, being of sound mind, memory and understanding and considering the uncertainty of life and the certainty of death, do make and publish this, my last will and testament, hereby revoking all former wills and testaments and declaring this only to be my last will and testament.
First, I desire that my body be buried in a decent and Christian like manner and as to such worldly estate whereof I am possessed, I dispose of the same as follows after

First directory - that my just debts and funeral expenses be paid out of the first moneys that come into the hands of my executors.
It is my will that all my estate real and personal be sold by my executor as soon as conveintly can be after my dec. and further, my will is that after all my Estate is converted into money, Excep what the law setts appart for the widow, is to be paid to my children share and share alike, first, however, taking off each one what they have already received as a legacy which is charged against them in my ledger.

My will is that my wife is to have the third of my estate during her widowhood; if she intermarries again, my will is that she shall have nothing of my estate and further the money coming to my daughter, Sarah, intermarried with Robert Haverstick, is to be paid into the hands of John A. H. Deathen(?) who is nominated as a trustee for her, and I instruct him to pay her the interest annualy during her natural life.  After her decease, the trustee is to pay the princable to her children, share and share alike, as they become of age.

I do hereby grant to my executors, hereinafter named, full power and an authority to make sale of my real estate and to execute and deliver to the purchasers as purchasers thereof good convvey and in the case of my hole right and title thereto, as fully as I could if living, the same to be sold on such terms, as their judgment is best for the interest of my estate.

I hereby nominate, constitute and appoint my friend, J. C. Markley and my son, Levi Hollabaugh to be the executors of this, my last will and testament, with full power to sell and convey my real estate and to settle my estate.
In witness whereof, I, the testator, have hereunto set my hand and seal this 19th day of August A.D. 1876.
 Signed, sealed, published and delivered by the said Testator, George Hollabaugh as and for his last will and testament in the presence of us who in his presents and at his request and in the presence of each other, have hereunto Subscribed our name as witnesses therein.
Wm. Bossermant and Isaac Rice
Came before judge with will and testimony to register will on 22 August 1877."

Great-grandfather, William Levi Hollabaugh, was assigned as an executor, but he lived in Dekalb County, Indiana, approximately 500 miles away. He was a young man of about 35 with a wife and young children. Perhaps it was a hardship for him to travel back home to serve, financially and perhaps because it was almost harvest time on the farm. It would have been a very long trip for him in 1877.
So he sent a decline to the role of executor.

"Renunciation in the Estate of George Hollabaugh, filed September 8, 1877.
In the matter of the last will and testament of George Hollabaugh, late of Adams County, Pennsylvania, deceased.
To the Register of Wills of Adams County, aforesaid, I, Levi Hollabaugh, son of said George Hollabaugh, deceased, and one of the Executors named in said last will and testament, living at Spencerville, Dekalb County, Indiana, hereby decline to act as executor aforesaid and request that Letters Testamentary be granted to the remaining Executor named in said will.  Witness my hand and seal..."

In this packet of information was included an affidavit of death for George Hollabaugh, indicating that he died on "15th August 1877 at about 12:30 A.M."  Also included was an inventory of all his goods, the auction bill of sale and notes of money that were due him and that he owed.  In the end, the sum of $112.15 was in the hands of the accountant.  

So the questions that I am left with are these:
1. Why does he take away everything from his widow if she remarries?  Was that a common practice?  Elizabeth would have been about 62 when her husband died.  As far as I know, she never remarried.
2. Why was the trustee appointed for Sarah Hollabaugh Haverstick, his daughter?  Why was she given only an annual payment while the others received their inheritance?  Did she or her husband misuse money?  
3. Why did he appoint Levi as an Executor when son, Jacob, at age 25, was still at home?  At the auction, Jacob purchased many of his father's possessions.
I would love to know the answer to these questions - any ideas?

October 6, 2013

Rating My Books

Currently, nine books show on my Shelfari shelf, so I thought it would be interesting to rank them most enjoyable to least.  Although I have to say that I did like all of these books at some level, as I have reached the point where, if I don't like a book, I just stop reading and it doesn't go on the shelf.  

In my opinion, 

#1 My Husband's Secret - oh, it had so many twists and an ending that will make you really think.  Loved this one!

#2 Me Before You - such a touching story about love and loss.  Yes, I cried.

#3 W is for Wasted - can't go wrong with Sue Grafton.  

#4 And the Mountains Echoed - I didn't enjoy this quite as much as his other two books, but it was still a good read.  More characters than a Russian novel and some complicated relationships to keep straight.

The next four were very close in rankings and I like reading these authors:

9th Girl -  - yes, I stayed up late to finish.

Suspect - love Robert Crais

Death Angel - interesting view of all the hideaways in Central Park, with a killer whom you might not suspect.

Shadow Tracer - a good read, but not memorable

#10 Ben Franklin's Bastard - I did grow tired of his wife, the mistress and the drama surrounding the poor child.  No wonder the child supported the King of England rather than the revolutionaries.  Tedious at times.